From: Criscione, Lawrence
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2016 8:13 AM
To: Kirkwood, Sara; Holahan, Gary; Clark, Theresa
Cc: [email protected]; ‘[email protected]’
Subject: Keeping inundation levels from the public
Attachments: Toops’ Interview.pdf
Sara, et. al.,
The Toops family was washed out of their home when the upper reservoir at Taum Sauk failed on 2005-Dec-
Although this has nothing to do with nuclear power, I encourage you to read the short 2½ page transcript of the
their interview with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. On the third page Jerry Toops mentions how Ameren’s
emergency action plan for a failure of the upper reservoir “showed the water stooping short of his house”.
In actuality, most of the water did stop short of his house. The flooding models accurately predicted the
course of the bulk of the water. However, a rouge splash demolished his house and flushed him and his family
out into the night.
Had Ameren’s emergency action plan been in the public domain, it is possible that some group (e.g. an
environmental group, a university) might have studied the plan and found its inadequacies. I admit that it is
likely that, had this plan been public, no one would have reviewed it and found its flaws. But you will never
convince me that making it public would have caused Jerry Toops and his family to be the victims of an Al-
Qaeda plot to destroy the reservoir. There are very valid reasons for inundation studies to be in the public
domain; the only reason for keeping these studies from the public are—as termed by the President—
“speculative or abstract fears”.
Lawrence S. Criscione
From: Criscione, Lawrence
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:24 PM
To: Desaulniers, David
Subject: FW: Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure ‐ December 14, 2005
Attached is the Missouri State Highway Patrol interview of the Toops family. It’s 2½ pages long and a real
easy read; reads like a newspaper article.
Somewhere in the lengthy email trail below is a link to a very damning (pun intended) report by the staff of the
Missouri Public Service Commission. I could have written a much worse assessment of Ameren’s failed safety
culture, but given the political influence that can be exerted on the MoPSC, the report is pretty good.
This made the national news the night it happened but even in Missouri was forgotten about within a
month. Had it occurred in July instead of December, it would be one of the seminal disaster we all know
about—maybe not up there with the Titanic and TMI but well discussed in engineering circles. With hundreds
of dead campers, the production-over-safety of the Ameren officials and the wholesale destruction of
incriminating emails on the part of some managers would have seen scrutiny in criminal courts instead of a
stern rebuke by some Public Service Commission staffers.
From: Criscione, Lawrence
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:08 AM
To: Hiland, Patrick
Cc: [email protected]
Subject: RE: Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure ‐ December 14, 2005
FERC leveled their largest fine to date against Ameren ($15 million) due to the organizational failing that led to the
Upper Reservoir failure. I am not aware of what changed in FERC’s regulations, but Joseph Ehasz was one of the
contractors who either reviewed or performed the FERC assessment of the event and could likely inform you of all the
regulatory enhancements which occurred.
To my knowledge though, dams do not have “Tech Specs” like nuclear plants do. When the Taum Sauk disaster
occurred, there was a common mode failure affecting both channels of level indications that were used to shut off the
pumps during a reservoir fill. At a nuclear plant, we would never allow continued operation with a known common
mode failure of two channels of safety equipment.
What had happened was the stand pipes for the level indications were known to be moving in their brackets in a manner
which caused indicated level to read lower than actual level. While waiting for an outage to fix the stand pipe brackets,
the temporary “solution” was to recalibrate the level channels so that indicated level matched actual level. The
problem with this “solution” is that it did not address the root cause – the movement of the standpipes. That is, the
newly calibrated level could (and did) still drift if the standpipes again moved. I am confident that few nuclear plants
would ever continue to operate in such a reckless situation, but we aren’t dealing with nuclear plant operators and
managers – we are dealing with hydro.
I’m not willing to take on faith that Duke Energy’s non‐nuclear management is any better than Ameren’s, but even if I
were there are still concerns regarding the workers. I’ve worked the back shift at power plants and know what goes
on. The items Duke Energy committed to are excellent things to do, but as barriers to a nuclear accident they do not
even begin to compare to building a flood berm.
Note in Jerry Toops’ testimony to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (last page of the attached 4 page document) that
Ameren’s calculations prior to the Taum Sauk Disaster showed the flood waters stopping just shy of his house and
Ameren’s emergency plan committed to giving him a 12 minute warning. The only warning he got was the tremendous
rumble of boulders, trees and water rushing down Proffit Mountain. And the “steady state” flood volume might have
stopped just shy of his house, but a dynamic wave demolished his home and nearly killed him, his wife and three
children. I think a noble effort has been done by Duke Energy to estimate the flooding effects due to a dam break, but
like Ameren their estimation could be a little off.
If this was 1971 we would be requiring Duke Energy to deterministically show that they could protect against a
catastrophic failure of the Lake Jocassee Dam. I recognize that “that ship has sailed” – that based on the poor
understanding of dam failure frequencies that was present in the 1970s we gave them a license without requiring a
deterministic evaluation. To be quite honest, I do not have an issue with them abandoning their plans for a flood
wall. We cannot live with a 2.8E‐4/year risk at 104 US reactors, but we can certainly live with that risk at 3 reactors in
South Carolina. My concerns are:
We haven’t been transparent and open with the public about this issue
As an agency we haven’t dealt effectively with this issue over the past six years and there are important lessons
to be learned from that but for some reason, unlike the utilities we regulate, we have no method for capturing
poor organizational performance and analyzing it for ways to improve
I see no security concerns surrounding Oconee/Jocassee, but others do (particularly in NRR) and yet I am not
aware of any formal study or evaluation that has been done to determine whether or not the Lake Jocassee
Dam is adequately protected from sabotage
The decision on what to allow at Oconee is ultimately up to the Commissioners. I can be satisfied with whatever
decision they come up with as long as they and the public are fully aware of the risks and are aware of the
limitations/uncertainties of the various studies and assessments. Jeff Mitman is the first to admit that his 2.8E‐4/yr
number might not be the actual number for Jocassee – it’s merely the most accurate estimate he can provide from the
available data. Likewise, any assessment we do on Duke Energy’s evaluations and contingencies must acknowledge the
limitations of what we can estimate and the limited confidence we can place on human barriers (e.g. procedures,
I’ve copied Joseph Ehasz. Hopefully he can inform us of what changes occurred at FERC regulated facilities as a result of
Taum Sauk or point us to the FERC documents which discuss those changes. I am certain there were many
I appreciate NRR holding public meetings on the Jocassee/Oconee concerns.
From: Hiland, Patrick
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:12 AM
To: Criscione, Lawrence
Subject: RE: Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure – December 14, 2005
If my memory cells are still working, I believe FERC imposed requirements/expectations on a number of hydro units they
regulate including DUKE’s Jocasee? Believe I recall their normal operating pool level was lowered in response to Taum
Sauk? Not sure if I recall all the facts.
From: Criscione, Lawrence
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 5:11 PM
To: Boska, John; Wilson, George; Miller, Ed; Bensi, Michelle; Monninger, John; Hiland, Patrick; Mitman, Jeffrey; Ferrante,
Fernando; Kanney, Joseph; Chung, Donald; [email protected]; [email protected]
Subject: FW: Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure – December 14, 2005
Attached is some of the information on Taum Sauk. The “Toops’ Interview” is only three pages but is an excellent
example of the important role engineers and technicians (and the federal bureaucrats who regulate them) have in
ensuring the safety of the public. Most of the other documents are all either one or two pages. One of them is an
Ameren press release from the day of the accident.
A more detailed discussion of the event is found in the attached 85 page 2007‐10‐24 report from the staff of the
Missouri Public Service Commission to the commissioners, which can be found at:
The staff report has some good details on the Safety Culture failures at Ameren which led to the event. Duke Energy
might be right to discount the engineering aspects of Taum Sauk, but it is my experience from working at four utilities
and seven reactor sites that the organizational aspects of the Taum Sauk event cannot be discounted. I think it is
excellent that they once a shift check turbidity of leaks through the dam and that they have a video camera on it. And I
think it is excellent that they have procedures to shut down the reactors based on incoming storms, rising turbidity, or
high water levels. And I think they have every right to brag about these measures and to credit them in their
analyses. But keep in mind that not all the workers operating these plants behave as they are supposed to and when
they need to. Probabilistic Risk Assessment does not model human errors well and ignores errors of commission
From: Criscione, Lawrence
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 12:17 AM
To: ‘[email protected]’
Cc: Philip, Jacob; Beasley, Benjamin; Kauffman, John; Perkins, Richard; Kanney, Joseph
Subject: FW: Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure – December 14, 2005
I enjoyed the seminar today.
You mentioned the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir failure. In 2005 I was working for the utility which owned
Taum Sauk and as a teenager in Missouri I spent four summers working in a town near where the disaster
occurred. Except during the six summers I spent in the navy, I have visited Johnson Shut-ins State Park at
least once a summer since I was 11 and have camped there on four occasions. I even visited it in 2006 &
2007 when it was closed to swimming because of the disaster.
The pumps/turbines at the Taum Sauk Plant are controlled by the operators at Bagnell Dam 100 miles away
(as the crow flies – it’s about 200 miles on Missouri winding highways). Although there is security and
maintenance at Taum Sauk (and maybe an equipment operator) the control room operators are at Bagnell
Taum Sauk was built in the early 1960s by shaving the top off of Proffit Mountain (a fitting name) and building
an earthen/rock reservoir with the rubble. There was no spill way. As far as I know, water only entered and
left through a tunnel at the bottom of the reservoir which led to the pumps/turbines at the bottom of the
Taum Sauk was meant for occasional summer peaking and was never expected to be in service 12 months a
year. However, it was a very profitable plant for Ameren and they did some upgrades to it since the 1960s. By
2005 it was being used most days of the year. Like all hydro, it had become an extremely important generation
asset now that MISO has financial penalties for members who both overbid and underbid their daily power
(since hydro plants can be placed on and off the grid in minutes, Taum Sauk became a treasured “jewel” when
the new MISO rules were implemented early last decade).
Taum Sauk had a major outage early last decade and a liner was installed in it along with a new level sensing
system. The stand pipes for the level system moved upward for some reason. This affected multiple channels
on both the primary and backup sensors (redundant electrical trains, but a common mode failure in the stand
pipes which all used the same mounting brackets). Ameren was aware of this problem but continued to
operate the plant.
In October 2005, the faulty levels sensors caused the water level in the upper reservoir to be filled too high
causing there to be not enough “free board” at the top of the reservoir. Although this had probably been
occurring for a while, it was not really noted because the loss of “free board” had no yet caused any problems
(more water might be bad for the dam, but it’s good for the dam operator). However, on the day in question in
October 2005, high winds from Hurricane Rita caused waves in the upper reservoir which were high enough to
overtop the walls at the point of lowest free board. Enough water overtopped to cause significant “wash out” of
the road to the reservoir. Some engineers from Ameren were at the top of the reservoir and witnessed the
overtopping. This led to some emails being generated between engineering, operations, I&C and dispatching
(in their investigation the MSHP uncovered some of these emails, but most were only known because they
were alluded to in other emails having themselves been deleted from a server in the week following the
accident). Some I&C technicians had been complaining for a while about the faulty level indications and
wanted it fixed. Some engineers agreed with them. Upper management gave them lip service, but whenever
an outage window was decided it was postponed due to generation commitments.
I can’t remember all the details (it’s in the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s 1000+ page mind numbing report),
but some “band aid” to the level problem was implemented without an outage. I believe it involved merely
changing the electrical calibration to account for the believed movement of the standpipes which, of course, did
nothing to address the fact that the stand pipes were still liable to move further.
In the early morning of December 14, 2005, I was the Shift Technical Advisor in the Control Room of the
Callaway Nuclear Plant when the Generation Supervisor from St. Louis (who had been promoted from the
Callaway Plant Senior Reactor Operator ranks just a year earlier) told us that the level at Taum Sauk had
rapidly dropped to zero and they think the Upper Reservoir may have failed.
The operators at Bagnell Dam had been filling Taum Sauk for several hours (I believe it took 9 to fill) when
electric prices were low in the middle of the night. The level controls had all drifted to the point that the pumps
did not automatically shut off. Had he been paying attention, the operator may have noticed that indicated
level had quit rising (even though indicated level was reading low, if it’s not rising but the turbines are still
pumping this should clue you in that there is a problem).
With the dam overtopping, it was merely a matter of time before the earthen/rock wall decayed to the point that
it catastrophically failed sending a wall of water down the side of Proffit Mountain.
The wall of water stripped all the trees, boulders and soil from the mountainside leaving a bedrock scar. At the
base of the mountain, it overshot the banks of the Black River and flowed up the gradual slope of the flood
plain on the opposite bank cutting down the forest in its path. Many of the boulders were deposited in this
area. Once sufficient water had pooled in the flood plain, it flowed down the Black River in a huge
torrent. The Johnson Shut-ins camp ground is along the river banks and for the most part about ten vertical
feet above the river (maybe less). The restrooms and showers were built away from the river where the flood
plain meets the base of the hills. These brick structures were demolished by the water and tree trunks. The
camp grounds were the tents and RVs set up was completely demolished.
In one sense the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure is not a “near miss” because it is an event that actually
happened. However, to me it is a “near miss”. Johnson Shut-ins is possibly the most popular state park in
Missouri. It’s located where the Black River falls through a granite field. The river diverges into dozens of side
channels all with little pools and waterfalls. It is a very popular day and overnight destination. The main
reason I have only camped there four times is because of the difficulty in getting a camp site – you need to
know your plans a year in advance. It is not an exaggeration to state that had the Taum Sauk failure occurred
in the early morning hours of July or August instead of December, there would have been hundreds of corpses
littered amongst the debris in the shut-ins and floating in the lower reservoir (many of whom would be young
The only humans whose lives were threatened by the catastrophe were the Toops family. You can read their
harrowing ordeal for yourself in the three page MSHP interview I’ve attached.
Jerry Toops was the superintendent of Johnson Shut-ins State Park. His house was in the forest at the far
edge of the flood plain from Proffit Mountain. In all my years going to Johnson Shut-ins (and I literally went
every weekend some summers as a teenager) I never knew a house was there because of all the trees. None
of those trees are still standing. As the main torrent of water was pooling in the flood plain, a couple stories
high “splash” travelled up the gentle contours of one of the feeder creeks, losing many of its boulders and tree
trunks along the way. This splash hit the Toops house, knocking it off its foundation and causing it to float
“upstream” and break apart. Jerry Toops, his wife and seven month old son, his three year old daughter and
his five year old son were all flushed out into the night. They could do nothing but “go with the flow”. Jerry
ended up in a tree that was high enough that he could not climb out of it when the water receded. His wife was
sent swimming in the frigid water while trying to hold her seven month old son’s head above water. She could
hear her five year old son in the darkness but could do nothing to help him. She had no idea where her three
year old daughter was.
Miraculously, all of the Toops survived. Tanner Toops (the 5 year old) “died” but in the cold water the
emergency responders were able to revive him. No one knows how, but the three year old girl was alive when
found by the rescuers.
Ameren paid the Toops $20 million dollars and had them sign a draconian confidentiality statement; you’ll only
hear their story from the MSHP report – they are very leery to discuss the incident with their friends in the state
park service for fear of violating the terms of their settlement.
The “Rizzo” engineering firm did the failure report of the incident. They blame it on a number of causes, but
chiefly place the blame on poor construction. Although it is true (at least I have always assumed so, but your
lecture today seemed to point to the opposite) that an earthen reservoir like that could never be built today on a
mountain top without a spillway, that was not the cause of the accident. The accident was entirely preventable
and was a result of what we in the nuclear industry call a poor “Safety Culture”:
1. Production over safety (postponement of non-commercially lucrative projects which require a plant
2. Not listening to technicians and engineers
3. Cutting back on personnel (a $15/hour security guard with a walkie talkie assigned to watch the
reservoir fill could have prevented the entire incident)
4. Technicians and engineers afraid to make a stand against upper management
Had one of the engineers demanded his way and got the outage scheduled to fix the level sensors, the
reservoir failure would have never happened. Unfortunately though, no one would have known what
catastrophe was averted – including the engineer who would have torpedoed his career if he took that
stand. At the utilities, Safety Culture begins and ends at the top. 100 engineers complaining about something
will not result in any safety if the management refuses to listen to the ones brave enough to stand up to
them. And what of the engineer who does risk his career? If the accident is avoided he’s viewed as nothing
more than a “Chicken Little” who claimed the sky was falling when actually nothing happened.
Originally the State of Missouri demanded that Ameren re-plant the mountainside which was ruined, but later
reversed the decision. Geology professor have been taking students to Taum Sauk since the 1960s to see the
rock formations exposed where the tunnels were cut for the power house. These same professors convinced
the state to leave the bedrock scar in place; Missouri has millions of acres of forest but only one bedrock
scar. It’s a pretty impressive sight if you ever get a chance to see it. The trees trunks were harvested and the
debris was cleared from the shut-ins, but the debris in the flood plan is still there.
The new Taum Sauk from your power point slide show looks pretty impressive. My friends back at Ameren tell
me that insurance companies picked up the entire tab.
From: Criscione, Lawrence
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2010 3:32 PM
To: Kanney, Joseph
Cc: Perkins, Richard
Subject: Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure – December 14, 2005
Here’s some information on the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure we discussed earlier today. I don’t know
if it’s pertinent to any of the studies you guys are doing (it was essentially a “man-made” event and not an act
of nature) but it makes for some interesting reading if nothing else.
I certainly believe that there is a calculable probability of “man-made” dam failure for any pump storage unit. A
nuclear plant susceptible to flooding from a reservoir with pump make-up capability should be required to
calculate the probability of the catastrophic failure of the reservoir from a human/equipment performance
From: Criscione, Larry S.
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2005 2:57 PM
To: ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]’
Subject: FW: Johnson Shut-Ins Tsunami
, Importance of Stewardship and Responsibility
From: Lawrence Criscione ([email protected])
Sent: Fri 1/30/09 12:28 AM
To: Will Kraus ([email protected]); Jeanette Oxford ([email protected])
Cc: Jeff Davis ([email protected]); Jeanette Oxford ([email protected]); Casey Exendine
([email protected]); Sheryl Gregory ([email protected]); Michael Taylor
([email protected]); William Jones (william [email protected]); Marty Gelfand
([email protected]); Houlihan Bill ([email protected]); Llana Weiss
([email protected]); Wess Henderson (wess. [email protected])
Attachments: MSHP interview of Toops. PDF (287.0 KB)
Representative Kraus and Oxford,
Attached to this email are the notes which Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Wiedemann took when he
interviewed Jerry and Lisa Toops following the Taum Sauk disaster.
I am sure you are aware that Jerry Toops was the superintendent of Johnson Shut-Ins State Park when the
upper reservoir at Taum Sauk was over-topped and subsequently failed.
The three page interview summary is pretty intense. Imagine you were Lisa Toops when, on a cold
December morning, you heard the deafening noise of the wall of trees and water as your house began to fill
with water and break apart. Imagine hearing your five year-old son calling for you as he attempts to swim in
the frigid water and you can do nothing to help him because you are fighting to swim yourself while keeping
your 7 month-old son’s head above water. You have no idea where your three-year-old daughter is.
Imagine spending the weeks before Christmas praying that your three children, in the intensive care unit of
the hospital, survive.
As tragic as the Toops’ ordeal was, anyone who has visited Johnson Shut-ins State Park in July knows how
lucky we were that the accident happened in December, when just the Toops were in the path of the
water. It is not an exageration to state that there would have been hundreds of dead campers floating in
the lower reservoir had the disaster occurred in the early hours of July vice December.
The wall of water which destroyed the Toops home was just a fraction of the roughly 3000 MW-hr of energy
released down the mountainside in the torrent of water. The reactor core at Ca llaway Plant has more than
12,000 times as much energy stored in it as the Taum Sauk upper reservoir had.
Although not required, having an operator (or even just a night watchman) present at the top of the
reservoir to monitor the filling evolution would have prevented the disaster. Ameren’s Emergency Action
Plan for the reservoir stated that the Toops would have 12 minutes warning if the upper reservoir were to
break, however Ameren made no attempt to meet this commitment by assigning someone to visually monitor
the reservoir for failure. The only warning the Toops had was the deafening sound of the torrent, stripping
trees and boulders from the mountainside as it swept towards their house.
Many of the causes of the Taum Sauk disaster are also present at the Callaway Nuclear Plant: minimal
staffing of operators, management ignoring the concerns of craft personnel, postponement of maintenance
on equipment not necessary for the production of electricity, reluctance of engineers to agressively challenge
I believe that a new nuclear plant in mid-Missouri is the best option we have to meet our future electricity
demands. However, we need to ensure that any new nuclear reactors, as well as the current one, will be
operated by a utility which is willing to forego some of its profits in the interest of safety. Ameren might
operate Callaway Plant in strict compliance to bureaucratic processes, but that does not in and of itself make
it safe. Callaway Plant must be staffed with workers who recognize what is right and are willing to challenge
their superiors when allowed practices are inadequate. I once fit that description, and the management of
the Operations Department drove me away because of it.
Please read the attached summary of the Toops’ interview and consider the importance of stewardship and
responsibility when entrusted with operating a power plant.
MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL
REPORT OF INVESTIGA’!’ION
STATE CONTROL NO.: 05 362 0:24 001 REPd~T DA’J!E: 01/ :31/06
REPORTING. OFFICER: SERGE~.NT ltJ. W. VJIE:DEHANN 0696 TROOP OF OCCURRENCE: G
OCC TYPE: ‘rAUM SA\JK RESERVOIR BREA.CH
COUNTY: REYNOLDS SCE!IJ:E PROCESSED: N
DATE/TIME:. DECEMBER 14, 2·0.05
OFFENSE STATUS: lNVESTIGATI;ON CONTINUING DDCC AT SC.ENE: N
PETATLS OF INVESTIGATION
INTERVIEW Of Ta.E TOOPS
MO · 6365-9
~ y~c -r-J old
‘1 ye ~ r~ c tJ
-, ~M.OWt~J> 0 I J
l, On January :n, 2006, 1 continued tbe investiga-t~o.n .into the fai.lvre
of the Ta\lrn sauk upper reservoir. During this investigation, I ·
interviewed jert;y w. Toops ana Lisa A. Toops at the Reynold,s county
sner iff ‘ s Depart:men t .
2. On January 31, 20’06, at 1333 hours, I met with Jerr.t a:.J.d Lisa
Toops at the Reynolds County She-riff·• s .Department.. They al,so· had
their attorney with them .. steve D. Burmeister, telephone n\.l.mbt:.r
816~37,3-5590. The Toops agreed t.o talk to tne abo.ut what had occurred
on the mo:rning of December 14 . 2005, wh¢n the Tautn sauk upper
Reservoir broke. The Toops are ident.ified as. foilOttJS:
a. ~$: dat . e .of birth
– Miss·oul”:t 63656, t
b . ~s. date of bin:h
…_.. l~issouri 63656,
3 . Lisa Toops. told me that present in their house that night was
l_ler ~t;16~and .•. Jerry, and th~ir three chil-~en… . ~· , ·h -. ewer e
1qent1f1ed as Tanner ~of b:trth Tara R.
· · ,. oate of bi.r·th – and Tucker · . · oops a-~ o£ birth
·4. Lisa bad got:ten up arou1.1;d 0.400 hours and fed TUcker on the couch in
their living ro0m. She bad then laid db’Wn on the couo.b and gone t.o
sleep vii th T1:1;cker. Lisa ‘i.’Jas awakened by a loud. rumb-ling like a train.
She at first thought it was a tornado an.!S quickly got up with- Tucke:r;.
She yelled to Jerry t.o help her get the kids. Lisa Started down t…l-J.e
ha.ll to TCl.Imer’ s room. ‘,rh~ house began to fill v.ri th wate~ as. she got
into the bedroom. Lisa helped Tanner to the top b®k and t .o.ld l:li\U to
say a pr.ayer an.d hold ni.s br~ath. ‘l’he room rapidly filled wi tA w.;:.ter
compleiely covering the three o.f them. Lis-a was trying · tiD ‘j:igur:e ou”t,
how -to get out of the water when the roof ‘IGracked ppen~. The three of
tbern were .washed out of the house at this t-ime.
S. Li$a was. able to bold Tl.)Cker’ s head above. water w~le they were
was’hed away from the hOtil.S<:: . She wa'S able to touch hmt tom after several minutes of floating in the waters. Lisa was able to get up and walk out of ·the water. She tO.en .Qeard Tanner calling to her. She c;.nswered him encour.aging him to swim. Lisa t.hen can::ied Tucker ~i th her as. she waded back into the water. She was able t-o S\1.1im to Tanner, who ,..,as still s~imming in the ""-ra:t::e;:r:. Sh¢ w.a:s able· to get t.Q him and pull him back to the shallow water. Lisa was too cold, ti+eci, and numb ar.: this time to. walk. She pulled the children ·next. to her and sat down in the shallow water. Lisa heard voices but ·lost consciousness. She woke up in the Q.j,Wulance and vJas told they were working on be:r: son. Lisa did not recall anything else until sbe was in the .hospital. She was told that ber entire family had been. found. Lisa described her inju:t-ies as se,ver-e hypothermia and a serious· case ·of poison ivy. 6. Jerry Toops began to tell me what had happened to him on the morning of December 14, 2005.. J .erry had been ·sleeping in his bed when l+e heard Liset s ·cream. He hea.rd a loud noise like a jet engine. He immed).ately re.coc;.Ini ~ed it:. to he rushing water. Jeirry knew t:P,ey were in danger f ·rorn the reservoir. J~r;r:y got ov;t of bed and :made it about two reet towards the baby's cri~ when the room exploded. Jerry said he rolled with it and fourid himself. covered with water outside the house . He was able to swim to the surface and could only see tvater, trees, and boulders. He was able to swim ·to the house and climb on top of tbe· roof . He ran around the roof of the house looking for his family, but was u.."'lable to find arrjbody. He then f.elt the roof began to move as the house floated off the foundation. Jerry continued to look for his family, but was unable to s :ee anybody in. the dark. The house began breaking up, and ,Jerry dropped into th~ water. He continued, to ·swim wi. trl the depris :Erom the house. The bouse . eventtlally completely .broke up. Jerry- grabbed the tops of .s .everal trees· trying to climb out of the water, but ea~b time tlJ.e tree came uprooted and washed away with hd.rn. He late~ saw a li:;~e of cedar :trees and was a-ble· to grab one of them. Jerry c;t.iffiPed into· the tree and waited until help arrived. Jerry thotlght :he wai.ted in the t:ree- for approximately one an.d one-half hours . 7. While in the tree, Jerry heard someone calling. He anst.Jered and was told to wait; they couldn't get to him. Approximately fifteen minutes later, ell second person got to him and helped him walk to the ambulance. Jerry told them the na.rnes of hi.s f ·amily and about the i -nte:cp who was living in temporary quarters near the Shut. Ins. While be was in the arobulartce, rescuers brought his son, ':Pucker, into t -he a:tll);>ulance. \Jerry heard TUcker crying and knew he was alive. They
pent brought Tara in. and she w.as unconscious. Rescue-rs la.ter told
J:;U~n they b-ad found tbf: res.t of his famlly; cmd they were alive. Tlley
were then t-ranspqrt.ed t;:.o the hospi.tal. · Jerry described l’lis injux:ies
as hypo·thermi~. a bulging disc , a p’t.J.P.c~ure in his riQtht foot, and his
f~at have peen numb sinc·e the incident. He stated the chil
his house. He had a lso been told in the e”.re.r1t of a. breach, he would
be immediately called ~iving him approximately twelve minutes to
evacuate his f.a.”l1ily before the water would reach his residence. Jerr y
was. ups.et that he had not received any warninq that the darn had
bToken. He was also una1t1are the re.se:!:v.o-ir was .rentotely puniped cmd no
one was wa tcbing the reservoir to see it breaking and notify him.
This he felt caused him not to be notifi.ed befbre t he water struck n~s
residence. The interview \.’ITas concluded at approximately 1500 hours.
9. This investigation is continuing .
iiJ. ~IJ , Wiedeman<"1, Sergeant WWVJ:klb Di'Jision of Drug. and Crime Control Page 3